Goodbye Lenin Commentary

Please post your brief commentary on Goodbye Lenin! in the comments section of this post.


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3 Responses to Goodbye Lenin Commentary

  1. ecs013 says:

    I really enjoyed the film Goodbye Lenin. It provided a more personal, humanistic narrative to the rigid and mechanical textbook accounts. The visual medium of film enabled me to better understand the unfolding of events in East and West Germany, while simultaneously causing me to evaluate the events in accordance with my own world. That is, I have found myself contemplating the prospect of how something like this would have affected my life as I know or knew it—and with that, how fortunate we are to live in a stable (although I use the term loosely) environment. Additionally, I believe the movie was successful in addressing the onset of change (for example, the elimination of GDR consumer products) and its accompanying effects (the arrival of capitalist competitors). In the instances in which Alex is left to dig through dumpsters for old jars, the audience is able to draw parallel: a nostalgia for one’s past. Moreover, the producers of Goodbye Lenin—I believe—implicate/insinuate at a narrative of deceit (in this case, of a world that no longer exists) amid a period of mass political and social conflicts.

  2. af025 says:

    It is nice when a movie can translate a historical concept without the heavy and dense terms; that is why I think Goodbye Lenin is such a great movie. After reading about advertising, socialism, capitalism, and historical events like the end of communism with the fall of the Berlin wall, switching over to multimedia is a great way to further our understandings of what we have already learned. Goodbye Lenin incorporates all of these topics into one movie, explaining how each topic had an affect on people in Europe during that time period. My favorite part of the movie was when the mother, after awakening from her coma and returning home, found the strength to leave her bed and see the outside world for the first time since her fall. So much had changed since then and I think this movie did a great idea expressing how much things had evolved with the introduction of Western products such as Coke along with new cars and more modern clothes. It makes you think about how much government, international relations, and media affect your daily life as well as your beliefs and values. The mother was stuck in time, she stayed the same while her son and daughter transformed with the times. It is hard, almost impossible, to be hidden from such strong influences, which was clearly depicted in the film. I also thought it was funny when the son relabeled all the canned food so that his mother wouldn’t notice the difference. I liked this movie because it helped me understand how socialism and capitalism differ and how much influence each era had on a country.

  3. meh048 says:

    I enjoyed watching Goodbye, Lenin! because it tied together many of the themes we have discussed in our course thus far in a visual and sometimes comedic real life example. I liked seeing Spreewald pickles, Mocca Fix coffee, and Tabants that we recently presented on in class in use by socialist people and so ardently sought after by Alex. It was also very interesting to see how quickly Germany made the drastic change from a socialist to a capitalist lifestyle and what devastating effects it had on some people (for example the family losing all their East German marks because they brought them to the bank two days late). Further, the effort Alex took to to keep the fall of the wall a secret from his mother was astounding and even more unbelievable was how successful his stunt was. I was shocked when he didn’t tell her the truth even after she had been outside and witnessed capitalism with her own eyes. The greatest educational aspect of this film, however, was being able to see the transition to capitalism from the point of view of someone who had grown up in communism, not a speculation on what it must have been like from some academic. Despite finding capitalism good, they still held on to some of the socialist ideals and nostalgia under which they had been raised; perhaps imagining an ideal society as, not one of capitalism, but of true socialism where everyone was equal, everyone had nice things, and everyone lived in a worldwide community that cared about one another.